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 THE ROYAL COUPLE 
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Post THE ROYAL COUPLE
One of the things that have always intrigued me is how fate chose two people as much different as Louis and Marie-Antoinette to be together and share their life in the middle of one of the most extraordinary events in the History of mankind. So I enjoy so much when I can real no-biased and insightful descriptions of both members of this couple. If you think it worth-reading, I'm posting some of a French historian paragraphs on the king and queen and their relationship (I had to translate from Spanish, so sorry if it's not quite fine, I hope there's not much "lost in translation" :wink: )

"But, even if he had become his wife's husband, 'le pauvre homme' certainly was not her lover. He was too good to win the love of such an impetuous and extravagant creature, he, who put regular routines above everything: a clock-husband. Could any novelist ever imagine two human beings less adequate, physically and morally, and less completive to each other? Age, and they already were in their thirties, enhanced their differences instead of make them grow together. A generous heart was the only thing they had in common, which meant wild prodigality in Marie-Antoinette, and in Louis forgiving all offences, for he was excessively indulgent. He was bulky in body and soul, heavy, completely lacking of the elegance that had been so useful to Louis XV, that had even gained his people's love despite his faults. He never seemed comfortable but in his intime environment. As he was not talkative, during a time when witty speaking was like fireworks, he was not believed to be intelligent. But those who could have a serious conversation quickly noticed his learning, his good sense, his fine reasoning. Those who used to learn about his comments too. But he had not the talent to appear smart; he could never get rid of his native simplicity; he was always slovenly too, in spite of the Queen's reproaches.

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Fri Nov 17, 2006 9:09 pm
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Very interesting ! Thanks for translating ! Who is the historian, dear ?

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Fri Nov 17, 2006 9:31 pm
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This description is really right and relevant! :D

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Fri Nov 17, 2006 10:03 pm
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Thank you, very profond inscription.
Yes, they were two different characters in a court stage.


Sat Nov 18, 2006 7:16 am
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Actually, Louis did not become "heavy" until his thirties. He was slender as a teenager, as one can see from his early portraits, and very muscular. Who is the historian being cited?

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Sat Nov 18, 2006 12:31 pm
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Indeed Therese, Louis XVI when he was 15 years was not as imposing as when that he was older :D

Here a portrait in 1775 :

Image

And here during the revolution :

Image

We notice that he grew bigger during these years, and very quickly :D Separately hunting he was not a sportsman and he ate very much thus

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Last edited by Louis-Charles on Sat Nov 18, 2006 1:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Sat Nov 18, 2006 12:48 pm
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He was a big man with a hearty appetite and when he was not hunting working at his forge which built up his arms. He was very German in his build.

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Sat Nov 18, 2006 12:59 pm
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Therese wrote:
Actually, Louis did not become "heavy" until his thirties. He was slender as a teenager, as one can see from his early portraits, and very muscular. Who is the historian being cited?


I agree with you, that's why it's mentioned that "they were in their thirties". Antoinette also gained weight in her thirties, but not so much.

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Mon Nov 20, 2006 1:50 pm
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Yes, Antoinette also became pleasingly plump, just a little.

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Mon Nov 20, 2006 2:25 pm
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Ah, pleasingly plump, what words...
But it is true. Antoinette never was actually fat like her mother. Joseph was however saying that Antoinette had become "a good fat German".
And she became also thinner I think, a year before the revolution. I have always thought that it was the time that her more serious health problems began.
Louis was bigger and fatter later in his thirties, but Comte de Provence was in much worse condition and to me Louis always looks better.


Mon Nov 20, 2006 3:24 pm
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Yes, Aurora. They say the queen dropped weight very quickly in prison, especially after the king was killed. All her dresses had to be taken in.

Provence became horribly obese and suffered from gout and perhaps diabetes. He never engaged on the same level of physical activity as did Louis-Auguste.

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Mon Nov 20, 2006 3:35 pm
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Indeed, Antoinette lost weight gradually since 1789. Some witnesses who met her in the Tuileries stated how thiner and nervous she had become. After Varennes, her health got even weaker. And, in the Temple, especially after the king's death, her milliner had to narrow her bodices several times. On David's awful sketch, we can notice that she had thin shoulders, although her bust seemed still very feminine.

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Mon Nov 20, 2006 3:57 pm
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The second part of my translation, and now it’s about the Queen

“This was all gracefulness, elegance, style and joy, quite a woman up to the tip of her fingers, as people knew how to be in the XVIIIth century. Not that her beauty was perfect. Those who had the privilege to see her unadorned and rouge-less, such as Mercy, say that the “lack of care” did not fit her. But she was a supreme artist to embellish herself. Her trim head-dress, the charm of her smiles, the glow in her eyes, made you forget her too much rounded forehead, her aquiline nose and the Hapsburg lip. She was not the small nymph painted by Drouais anymore. Age had made her gain weight, but she kept her light feet, the perfect harmony of her attitudes and gestures. She had become the young woman with a rose painted by Mme. Vigée-Lebrun. Pastel colors she liked (light blue, pearl grey, lilac) enhanced her flower-like complexion, her luminous skin, velvety as a flower-leaf. The low neck showed the perfection of her shoulders and her flexible neck. Her character crops out, mysteriously, in those portraits, I mean, the appetite for life and the majesty, strange and detonating combination! Some looks give lie to the smiles, they are imperious, almost harsh. You can perceive her will, or better, her obstinacy, that she could not stand to be contradicted. Her wish to please, which is evident, contrasts the air of a queen, that is, the certainty of being always the first one, everyone, not only obeyed but revered and flattered. Married to another man…"

Later I’ll go on, what do you think?

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Thu Nov 23, 2006 2:21 pm
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Well, I thought some would be interested in the descritpion of the Queen I posted, I think it's pretty insightful and objective, but I'd like to know other opinions!

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Tue Nov 28, 2006 2:34 pm
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Very lovely and interesting but I am still curious as to what author you are translating.

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Tue Nov 28, 2006 2:41 pm
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